Three things God calls us to do, to come out of childhood
Ephesians 4:13-15 “Till we come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:”
Childhood for every Christian is slightly different, but basically,….
…….it is the time where we are more concerned with His taking care of us…..than we are, in following after Him.
There are several things we need to do, to come out of childhood.
“Be strong and of good courage.”
You say that sounds like something an adult, not a child would do…..
….but we will never give up our childish ways without….strength and courage.
Joshua was a young man when Moses took him as his helper. Yet now he had been given the leadership of Israel.
But being a helper to Moses, is one thing, but leading by himself, is another. Hence, Joshua needed to “grow up” into his calling…..
…..and God tells him:
Joshua 1:5-6, 7-8 “….as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage:….
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe according to all the law,…..thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for……then thou shalt have good success.”
(The command to be strong and of good courage is repeated again by God Joshua 1:9,…..and once more to Joshua by the tribes which stayed across the Jordan. Joshua 1:18)
That is four times Joshua hears these words….this was the way he was to “grow up” into the leadership position….and finish his course.
“Be strong” here means to persevere…..to finish what you start.
How many children start something and drop it, for one reason or another. But God calls us to finish our course….complete the work….
Joshua needed to forge ahead in strength….that which he had, though small….and let God give him more…
….and with courage….which is the actions of a person who knows the goal….and heads toward it….
….not with boasting….but with determination…..this is courage.
And the way of strength and courage…..was God’s acknowledged Presence and God’s Word.
Read it, think upon the promises in the things that come up….and follow it.
God would increase both his, and our strength and courage….as we do.
The other thing we need to do to grow up, is to see the enemy of God’s people……as though they are standing next to God….how ineffective they will seem, then….
….Just like David does with Goliath…
1 Samuel 17:26, 45-46 “And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou has defied.
This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and will smite thee,….that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.”
David was not meant to be there…..he was sent on a simple errand, and came into these circumstances unexpectedly…..yet he did not see Goliath as a giant….but as a uncircumcised Philistine that was hindering God’s Will.
And he knew that anything that hindered God’s Will could be overcome….
….and as soon as he realized how….or the means (the sling, and the rocks)….
….then he was ready to stand and do it.
Children, when they come into unexpected circumstances, often withdraw….or run ahead blindly….
….but when we begin to grow up, then we see all our circumstances as opportunities to serve the Lord….and find out how.
And the last example about growing up is: To Continue
2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of Whom thou hast learned them;
And that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation though faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
That the man of God may be perfect (complete, grown up), throughly furnished unto all good works.”
Paul was writing Timothy about “perilous times”…..about times when many will be “lovers of their own selves, covetous,…unthankful to God, unholy” (2 Timothy 3:1-2)
About trouble that will come…..”Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12)…
And he told Timothy, “my dearly beloved son” in the faith…..to continue…to stay the course…..in all that he had learned from God…..from the Holy Scriptures.
The Word of God has every situation in it…..enemies, lies, hypocrisy and false friends, joy, instruction for being born again……and the way into sanctification….
…..it has examples of depression, and of overcoming….
…..it has laid out before us, the road Jesus took while He was here….and we are told by Peter to “follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21-23)….
In the Word, Timothy was to continue….and all who would grow up into Christ, our head, must continue….must stay the course laid out for us in the Bible.
Each of these examples….Joshua, David, and Timothy were younger men. They were men that had come to know God, early.
(And we should all be praying for our children…..those who are dear to us, and this generation in our country….that they may come to know Christ Jesus the Lord as their Lord and Savior….and grow in Him.)
Yet, each had to grow in grace and the knowledge of God….into their respective lives and ministries.
They had to grow up.
So do we…..
……each of us must face our responsibilities as servants of God….and persevere with courage…..
…..in unexpected situations, we are to see things in comparison to Him and His might…..and find out what we are to do there…..
……and we are to continue in the Holy Scriptures…..seeking out all that He would tell us, teach us, and help us, with them.
Peter, who knew failure, wrote in his last letter….
2 Peter 3:17-18 “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
So let us “beware!” (It is if he is shouting down the ages of the church)…
…”beware lest ye also” (yes, that is us)…”fall from your own steadfastness”…
“But grow in grace”…..we need to grow up in Him.